YUMA, Ariz. – Arizona Western College was taken over Wednesday by giant tractors and agriculture gear. The demonstrations are part of the 9th Annual South West Ag Summit. Close to one-thousand industry leaders came together for informational updates in agriculture.
“It started on Tuesday, and morphed into our field demonstrations today, they will finish up today, we are starting today, many of them will stick around for tomorrow, so it brings a whole new slice of people from out of the area,” said Bruce Gwyn, Executive Director of the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association.
Presentations across campus gave insight into modern-day agricultural innovations. High-tech self-guided tractors complete with GPS were in action for demonstrations throughout the day. Ryan Herbon with Ag Mechtronix said, “Ever since the industrial revolution I think machines have been slowly taking over more and more tasks that were previously done by labor and people. So I think this is the natural evolution of that. ”
Vendors were on hand to answer questions about new products available for all aspects of agriculture. While guest speaker Lori Taylor author of “The Produce Mom” spoke to curious Yuma County High School students.
“I decided I want to be an agriculture attorney, so I decided this would be the best way to expose myself to the industry in Yuma, especially agriculture that’ so important, said Stone Rush, Yuma Catholic High Senior.
Taylor stressed the importance to engage the public to better understand agriculture is not a foreign topic, it’s the food we rely on daily. She said,”There is no consumer good like food. our products are part of celebrations and they’re part of memories and traditions and we need to get personal with the way that we are inspiring people, and educating them, and encouraging them to purchase out product.”
Drones and other technological advances were also on display to prove that agriculture is more than just farming. Kevin Ford, Logistics Chair of Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association said, “Vegetable production is really cutting edge agriculture, and so a lot of the stuff they’re demonstrating here is maybe new to the industry and so this may be the first place and time they get to see that technology.”